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Quinces


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#1 SethG

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 10:22 AM

I bought a couple quinces this morning out of curiosity. I know people use them in baking, but that's all I know.

What do YOU do with them? Are they ever eaten out of hand?
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#2 Bond Girl

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:07 AM

They are never eaten out of hand, unless you like extremely hard fruits that are tasteless. But, I love keeping Quinces around the house because the smell warms up the room on a cold winter day. You can cook it with a sugar and some lemon and make a jam out of them, you can make them into a compote with some cinnamon and cardamon and serve them over ice cream, or you can cut them into cubes, par-boil them and stir it with some onions , apples, and rosemary to make a nice accompaniment to a firm fleshed fish (my friend also have tried this with quails and chicken). By the way, a tea made of boiled quince peels, cinnamon and lemon with some honey is the best thing for a bad cold.
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#3 Suzanne F

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:19 AM

Elizabeth Schneider (my goddess when it comes to fruits and vegetables) has very good information in Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables. Some handy hints:

Quince requires cooking to be edible, unlike most fruits. Its very firm, dryish flesh seldom softens to eating texture or develops enough sugar to be enjoyed raw. . . . If you wish to perfume a room, store quinces at room temperature for a week or so. For longer storage, wrap each fruit in a double layer of plastic and refrigerate where it won't be bumped. While quinces bruse easily, they last for months. . . .

She gives recipes for Honey-Baked Quince Slices; Chicken Baked with Quinces; Stew of Quinces and Lamb with Saffron and Split Peas; Quince Conserve with Vanilla; Quince Marmalade with Lemon and Ginger; Quince and Almond Tart; Quince Paste Candy (aka Membrillo); and Quince Cordial.

Unless you are in the no-fruit-with-meat camp, try them in a stew or alongside meat. The chicken recipe above calls for gently stewing sliced quinces in apple juice to 30 to 50 minutes, then browning a cut-up chicken, deglazing the pan with the fruit liquid, and baking the whole thing until the chicken is done. Since the quince turns pink when cooked, it's quite lovely.

Edited by Suzanne F, 30 November 2003 - 11:20 AM.


#4 Pan

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:31 AM

My mother used to cook a delicious beef stew with quinces, a Belgian recipe with a tomato sauce base. I'm trying to remember if that was the dish that also used flat beer, Boeuf a la Flamande.

#5 jackal10

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:43 AM

Treat them like very hard pears: bake for an hour in a moderate oven, then peel.
Serve with cream and honey or chocolate.

Traditionally added to apples for pie or compote

Dont try to cut, peel or process raw, they are like iron.

Good pickled as well.

Edited by jackal10, 30 November 2003 - 11:44 AM.


#6 SethG

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 12:02 PM

Suzanne, does this resemble Schneider's chicken recipe? I hope not; seems a bit fussy with the stock and the port.

Does Schneider call for any other spices? Perhaps some lemon?
"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#7 slkinsey

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 12:59 PM

Quinces can be a great addition to an apple pie or tarte tatin because of the great acidity. Just cut considerably thinner than the apple slices or pre-poach so everything cooks evenly.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#8 Suzanne F

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 01:09 PM

Suzanne, does this resemble Schneider's chicken recipe? I hope not; seems a bit fussy with the stock and the port.

Does Schneider call for any other spices? Perhaps some lemon?

It's similar. But she calls for 4 quinces to one chicken. And instead of the stock and port, she uses 1 cup of fruity white wine. Cooks the quinces, adds a little light brown sugar and reduces the liquid to 1 cup. Then coats the chicken pieces with seasoned flour, browns them and dusts with the coriander, deglazes the pan (minus the fat) with the liquid, pours this over the chix in the baking dish. Bakes at 375, covered 15 minutes, then uncovered another 15.

You could always add some lemon; I might. Although using wine ups the acidity anyway.

#9 wannabechef

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 01:22 PM

Whenever I think of quinces I think of my favorite Turkish desert. One that I used to eat during my trips to Turkey. It's called Ayva Tatlisi - basically they're candied quinces, served with a sort of clotted cream. They are truly fantastic!!! I found a recipe via Google and I'm sure you can find many more. Enjoy!

P.S. I have to admit that this is the ONLY form I've eaten quinces in!

http://recipes.chef2...46/248870.shtml

~WBC

#10 iriee

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 01:52 PM

two ways that i like to use them are cooked in red wine vinager and strained out,,,whisk in some good olive oil and dress a nice bitter salad of endive, radichio and arugula. another way is cook in red wine,,,puree and use as a sauce for foie gras or just sauted chicken livers, yummmm! :raz:

#11 SethG

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 02:33 PM

Thanks to all for your advice. I think I will try Suzanne's chicken dish, some night this week. I'm thinking savory quince, not sweet, for some reason.

I've now been given yet another book to look for, as well!

P.S. We're talking coriander seed, not leaves, right? Thanks again.
"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#12 Suzanne F

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 03:01 PM

P.S. We're talking coriander seed, not leaves, right?

Right.

#13 KatieLoeb

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 04:03 PM

Membrillo!!! Truly the most delicious thing ever with cheese. The classic preparation is a slice of membrillo (imagine a loaf of condensed jam) with a piece of Manchego cheese. Pure heaven!

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#14 ludja

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 04:06 PM

I know you said you are leaning more toward savory quince preparations--but just wanted to put in another plug for thick quince jam. I made this for the first time last week and the result is truly magnificent. One always hears of the unique flavor of quinces and I was not disappointed--honey, rose, ginger flavors are all in there. Also because they are so high in pectin (the skins and cores, I believe) the texture is really great. Lastly, the pale yellow flesh turns a beautiful deep, dusky rose after being cooked. All in all, an amazing transformation for a rather ungainly looking fruit! Saveur mag (november) has a recipe for the jam; and a great looking recipe for using the jam in a quince frangipane tart that I am going to try.

Along more savory lines, Pauls Wolfert has some interesting quince recipes in her books. In "Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean" there is an intriguing recipe for "Quinces stuffed w/chicken, golden raisins and almonds". She recommends this as a great dish for a buffet table.

She also has a great recipe for "Duck w/Qunices". To quote, "The play of tart, fragrant quinces, against spice aromatic cinnamon bark and rich duck is unforgettable"

I think I may have to try this myself :smile:
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#15 jackal10

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 04:21 PM

I know you said you are leaning more toward savory quince preparations--but just wanted to put in another plug for thick quince jam. I made this for the first time last week and the result is truly magnificent.

There is an an illustrated recipe in Autumn and Festive Preserves

Posted Image


Posted Image

#16 SethG

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 04:40 PM

Okay, Jack, that looks pretty good. Maybe after the chicken I'll have to get some more quinces!
"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#17 ludja

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 06:20 PM

Nice pix jackal10

Forgot to mention above, but here is a link for a really extensive web site on quinces and quince recipes contributed by many different people. Tons of ideas for both savory and sweet uses...

http://cres.anu.edu....ncerecipes.html
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#18 Schneier

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 06:36 PM

...here is a link for a really extensive web site on quinces and quince recipes contributed by many different people. Tons of ideas for both savory and sweet uses...

http://cres.anu.edu....ncerecipes.html

Interesting. Thanks.

#19 SethG

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 10:00 AM

It appears that the Saveur jam from the November issue has not been posted on their website, but the website does provide a big spread on the quince from 1996, along with several recipes.

Edited by SethG, 01 December 2003 - 10:02 AM.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#20 ludja

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:03 AM

It appears that the Saveur jam from the November issue has not been posted on their website, but the website does provide a big spread on the quince from 1996, along with several recipes.

Thanks for pointing out the other Saveur recipes on line SethG

I've seen lots of quince jam recipes around (including on the web site given above) and they all seem to follow this basic formula:

Get a bunch of quinces (at least 4 or 5).
Rub fuzz off quinces if they are so endowed.

Take 1/2 of the quinces and cut up into large pieces.
Put them in large pot including stems, peels, cores, etc (large source of pectin).
Cover w/water at least an inch over.
Simmer slowly for ~ 1 1/2 hours until soft.
Push through food mill to trap nubbly parts and return to pan.
Peel, core and stem remaining half of quinces and add to pan.
Cook slowly for another 1 1/2 hours or so until new quinces are soft. Stir as needed to prevent sticking or burning.
Pass entire mixture through food mill.
Weigh mixture and then return to pan.
Add equal weight of sugar to quince mixture.
Cook again until you reach desired thickness (at least an hour). Will need to stir more often to prevent sticking/burning.

Take off heat and add some lemon to taste.

Store covered in fridge and enjoy on your well-buttered Australian Toaster muffins or in a tart. :cool:
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#21 SethG

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 07:46 AM

I made Schneider's Chicken Baked with Quinces last night. Thank you, Suzanne! The quinces were great. I was a little underwhelmed by the pairing with chicken. I think they would make a great combo with pork chops, though.

Now on to the jam.

Edited by SethG, 02 December 2003 - 07:50 AM.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

#22 Jim Dixon

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 10:47 AM

I've been making quince paste (membrillo) from my first crop. I like to cook the fruit with a little white wine and honey (or use a dessert wine), lemon juice, and zest. Then it's through the mouli and into a pan lined with an olive oiled piece of foil (makes it easier to flip the sheet of paste as it dries). I've dried the paste in the oven (old gas with pilot light) and in the driveway (during rare warm and sunny fall days), but my little delongi convection oven has a drying feature that works really well.

Nigella's How to Eat has a recipe for a quince mostarda that's basically the jam with dry mustard to give it bite. It's very good with cheese, but you can't process it like jam because the heat neutralizes the mustard's bite.

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#23 Suzanne F

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 11:30 AM

Has anyone yet mentioned that the apple in the Garden of Eden was probably a quince?

#24 Pan

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 03:03 PM

It was?

#25 Ruth

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 03:31 PM

I love to cut a quince into wedges which I blanch for about 5 minutes and then sauté in butter. Cooked this way quince is a wonderful accompaniment to pork, squab or any game meat.

Edited by Ruth, 02 December 2003 - 03:32 PM.

Ruth Friedman

#26 ludja

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:16 PM

I love to cut a quince into wedges which I blanch for about 5 minutes and then sauté in butter. Cooked this way quince is a wonderful accompaniment to pork, squab or any game meat.

Thanks for that simple recipe; it sounds wonderful.

And although I really enjoyed making the jam; this sounds like a great way to use quinces more often.
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#27 cakewench

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 11:38 PM

quince paste! :wub:

Yes, please, if you haven't tried quince paste (membrillo) with some nice sharp cheese, do so!

Upon arriving in Australia last year, I shared a cheese plate with a fellow backpacker. It was served with a lump of the stuff, but I had no idea what it was. It was so good that I obsessed over it for over a month, and only found out what it was when I stumbled across Maggie Beer's version (Maggie Beer = South Australia's Martha Stewart. um, but without the millions of dollars and annoying commercial tie-ins). I immediately got my Aussie friends hooked on it. I loaded up on it when it was time to leave, along with some interesting 'cabernet paste' I found at her shop in the Barossa.


Oh, man. I want some now. I wonder if I can find quince in Germany. :smile:

#28 gsquared

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Posted 03 December 2003 - 12:30 AM

I like to make a quince relish: Finely diced quince, finely diced red onion (about 1/5th of the quince in quantity), finely diced bell pepper (same quantity as onion), sugar, vinegar. Cook over low heat until soft and the liquid has evaporated. If the quince is not tender when the liquid is gone, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking until soft. It keeps for a week or so in the fridge and goes well with pork, chicken or duck.
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#29 Adam Balic

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Posted 03 December 2003 - 03:38 AM

If you have a tree (if you have the space for a medium sized tree it is well worth it as they are very beautiful and fill the area with scent at night) and you have very ripe quinces, you could just about eat some raw, although this would be a waste.

In Morocco they cook tagine with quince and there are several Persian stews that use quince. In the EGCI pasta coarse there is a recipe for a quince ravioli (n.b. shameless plug). They make an excellent jelly and when cooked are great for all manner of desserts.

Regarding there cooking. If you simmer them in sweetened water they will be soft in about half an hour. At this stage they will be a light yellow colour with a touch of pink. If you cook them longer they will develop the pink colour, eventually becoming a deep ruby red colour. This works if simmered, but they can fall apart. Much better to oven bake them. Take the fruit, peeled, cored and quatered, mix with vanilla sugar and put in a oven proof pot, that has a lid. Place in oven (160.C) and bake for 5 hours, baste occasionally with juices. If the begin to dry out add liquid as you do not want the sugar to caramelize an burn.

At this stage they can be eaten with ice cream etc or use for tart tartin, pies, crumbles, cobblers, flans or even trifles. A nice 'trifle' is PX sherry flavoured custard, with quince, crushed amaretti and toasted almonds.

The are my favourite fruit.

Edited by Adam Balic, 03 December 2003 - 03:39 AM.


#30 SethG

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 08:02 AM

That was a beautiful testimonial, Adam! I wish I had a yard in which to grow a quince tree.

So I happened to see a used copy of Schneider's Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables yesterday, and of course I couldn't just put it back on the shelf, so now I own it. Having looked over the chicken/quince recipe, I see that I used way too much apple juice, which may have sent the sweetness of the dish over the top.

Oh, well, don't look back, as Bob Dylan said. About someone else. Whatever.

Onward to membrillo! I plan to pick up a bunch of quinces this weekend if I have time, and some Manchego.

Some other interesting facts from Schneider's book:

1. You can buy a large number of quinces when they become available, and they will keep for months in the refrigerator.

2. Even if a quince is bruised, it will probably not matter once the fruit is cooked.

3. The word "marmalade" is derived from the Portugese word for the quince.

4. The quince used to be very well known and widely eaten here in the U.S.A.; it is the decline in home canning that has led to its current marginal commercial status.

This morning, I was on the subway (in NYC) headed to work, reading Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking, and what should I come upon but a chapter devoted to making jam. Colwyn's chapter is devoted to plum jam, but still I had jam so much on my mind that I missed my stop and had to turn around and take another train!

Edited by SethG, 05 December 2003 - 11:48 AM.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;
but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"